I don’t believe this … Green Car .com has named the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid 2008 Green Car of the Year [archive link]. This gargantuan obesemobile has a 6 litre engine which gets a dismal 21 mpg (about 11 l/100 km in real money). But it’s okay, because it’s a hybrid! Well, bravo Chevrolet! Your greed and stupidity is killing us all.
The exceptions include pint bottles for milk and pints of draught beer and cider, miles for road signs and speed markers and the troy ounce for precious metals.
In its public consultations on the question, the EU said consumers and teachers were largely in favour of the metric system. It found industry groups, companies and national governments feared metric-only labels in part because they would disrupt trade with the United States, which does not allow such labels.
Let’s think about this: the only measure you’re likely to sell to the US isÂ the pint. The market for items sold by the mile is somewhat smaller. The totally, utterly stupid thing about this is that UK pints are a different size than US pints (568ml vs 473ml), so they’d have to use different labels anyway. No one under 40 in the UK was taught imperial units, so who is pushing this agenda, and why aren’t they dead yet?
There’s going to be some ranting here, so I advise folks to look at this nice picture of a monarch butterfly I took at Bluffer’s Park today, and move along:
In the park there was a gull that wasn’t moving like the others. I got close to it, and discovered there was a large fishing lure lodged through its beak. I had no way of helping it, and a nearby parks crew couldn’t do anything either. It could fly, just, but the big lure slowed it down, and the trailing fishing line mad it stumble.
I know gulls are often seen as nuisance birds, but no animal deserved
this fate. There’s no fishing and no kite flying in this park because there are so many birds. I’m angry that someone could be so thoughtless.
There’s a picture below the fold. You probably don’t want to see it.
You’ve got to love bicycle helmet advocates:
This bill is absolutely right. I, quite frankly, am not going to bear any arguments. I’m not going to hear them, I don’t want to hear them, about whether we have enough police to enforce it. We need it to be enforced. We need to do it for rollerbladers, in-line skaters, anybody, any contraption. It needs to happen.
So, Michael, I don’t see you wearing a helmet in that picture on your website when you’re out on the street. Don’t you know the number of pedestrian head injuries?
It looks like the Ontario Legislature is squeezing in compulsory bicycle (and rollerblade, scooter and skateboard helmets) through a private member’s bill. The sponsor is John Milloy, Liberal MPP for Kitchener Central.
The bill’s proper name is Bill 129, Highway Traffic Amendment Act, 2004, and is described as:
The Bill amends the Highway Traffic Act to make it an offence for any person to use a skateboard, a scooter, in-line skates or roller skates on a highway without wearing a helmet. …
Wearing a helmet doesn’t save as many lives as having more people on bikes would (source: Helmet Effect Undetectable in Fatality Trends, compiled from Transport Canada data) . It interferes with utility cycling, where the bicycle is an integrated part of urban mobility, and doesn’t need special clothing or restrictions.
John Milloy’s apparent motivation for this bill was the death of a friend in a rollerblading accident on the Rideau Canal. While I’m genuinely sorry that this happened, I don’t see any bicycle or highway involved here. I wonder if Mr Milloy is indeed a cyclist at all?
It looks like this bill will be discussed at a panel next Monday, so there’s very little time to act. What you can do:
- Follow the steps in the OCBC Anti-Bill 129 Campaign.
- Don’t know who your MPP is? Find your electoral district. (Mine’s Lorenzo Berardinetti.)
- Read these, provided by Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists:
- Mandatory bicycle helmet law in Western Australia
- Commentary on “A case-control study of the effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets”.
- John Franklin’s Bicycle Helmets Page. John Franklin, author of the wonderful book Cyclecraft, is sceptical. (I reviewed Cyclecraft for VeloVision; here’s the archived PDF copy: Three Books About Biking).
- The Vehicular Cyclist
Is it coincidence that the countries with more and safer cycling are where fewest cyclists wear helmets?
It doesn’t help their cause that advocates of the bill support assaulting cyclists. Michael Prue, MPP for Beaches/East York, was quoted in The Star as saying:
There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t see someone on the streets of Toronto, an adult, with no helmet on their head, and I want to get out of my car or off the sidewalk and I want to grab them and I want to shake them.
Why don’t you get out your car, Michael, and do something sane, like ride a bike?
This bill does nothing to support cycling skill, and will waste police and legislature time. If they really want to do something for cycling in Ontario, how about:
- automatic fault on the motor vehicle driver until proven otherwise, as in some European countries.
- wide right lanes (not bike lanes) required on all new urban roads.